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Isaiah 66:1-24

My eyes have been opened to whom God is speaking to through his prophet Isaiah. The rebuke and warning is not for the enemies of God but to God’s own people. This is the first time I’m seeing this from the hundreds of times I’ve read this book.

THUS SAYS the Lord: Heaven is My throne, and the earth is My footstool. What kind of house would you build for Me? And what kind can be My resting-place? [Acts 17:24.] For all these things My hand has made, and so all these things have come into being [by and for Me], says the Lord. But this is the man to whom I will look and have regard: he who is humble and of a broken or wounded spirit, and who trembles at My word and reveres My commands. [John 4:24.] [The acts of the hypocrite's worship are as abominable to God as if they were offered to idols.] He who kills an ox [then] will be as guilty as if he slew and sacrificed a man; he who sacrifices a lamb or a kid, as if he broke a dog's neck and sacrificed him; he who offers a cereal offering, as if he offered swine's blood; he who burns incense [to God], as if he blessed an idol. [Such people] have chosen their own ways, and they delight in their abominations;
(Isa 66:1-3 AMP)

This could not have been written to any other people but Israel/Judah because they are the only ones who would understand the reference to God’s resting place or house, that He really didn’t need. The “nations” would not have to be admonished and warned about idolatry and offering up things that would be reckoned as dogs’ and pigs’ blood on God’s alter because they never knew God’s alter unless they were converts. If this was a warning to Israel back then, than this is a warning for the Church and those in the church and clam their Christian status, today.

Flipping over the negative, we go to the positive. For those clinging to God, upholding the scriptures and being persecuted by others who are part of the Church body, then this is cause to rejoice and encouragement to remain steadfast.

Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad for her, all you who love her; rejoice for joy with her, all you who mourn over her, That you may nurse and be satisfied from her consoling breasts, that you may drink deeply and be delighted with the abundance and brightness of her glory.
(Isa 66:10-11 AMP)


And Mike I believe having a humble and contrite heart is not so much as one being convicted of ones sin but understanding that EVERYTHING that is done in the Christian walk must be directed by God through His Holy Spirit. In short, submitting to the Will of God and not our will. We can be repented however, repentance without change (Change is not change until it’s changed) is deadly, one is just sorry that they got caught or must serve the consequences of their actions. A humble and contrite heart leads to changed behavior.


Philippians 3:4-21

Paul, in this section of Philippians, speaks of relying on our own righteousness, which is like filthy rags, no matter how we define our so-called righteousness: either by birth, class and or skin, hair texture or geographic location Paul calls it all “dung.” (KJV). Anything outside of relying on Christ is nothing, zip, zero, nada.

Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
(Phi 3:8-10 KJVR)

Psalm 74:1-23

I read this and chuckle. No, I’m not chuckling at God or making light of this Psalm but I’m humored over how God tells us to put Him in remembrance of His promises to us. God doesn’t forget unless He chooses to. Here the writer is reminding God of the bad things that have happened to Israel, the promise of the mercy of God and God’s grace. God does not need to remember the things He has given us, but we need to be reminded of who we are and what we have in God, through Christ. What better way of having His people remember their responsibilities to God, others and ourselves by having us remind God of what He promised. It brings a smile to my face.


Proverbs 24:15-16

The interesting thing about these two verses is that we really don’t know who the godly or wicked are when they fall. Maybe we think we know but we really don’t. Since both godly and wicked may be sprawled on the ground, so judgment is reserved for those in the know, the spiritual know. I believe this Proverb is written specifically for the Believer who has fallen and can get up. The guilt and fear that comes with falling down can be paralyzing and wrought with terror, having the fallen Believer think that he/she has committed the “unpardonable” sin thus nullifying any positive effect they we’re created to have on the Kingdom of God.
God is saying, “Yes, you can get up and stop counting how many times you have fallen, just get up!”

Isaiah 66:1-24

I have noticed throughout Isaiah when God speaks about Jerusalem, the city, He often personifies her and asks all that love her to see her as a person. Either this is a literary devise or Jerusalem represents an ideal a standard. Having said that I am intrigued by the mention of the Temple inside the walls/gates of Jerusalem. The Temple is the life, the heart of His people and the walls of Jerusalem represent the walls of the chest cavity that holds the heart. (Please note: this is my vision/interpretation and mine alone. If I am wrong, God will surely correct me as He has done that before.)

Verse sixth really caught my attention:
Hear the word of the Lord, you who tremble at His word: Your brethren who hate you, who cast you out for My name's sake, have said, Let the Lord be glorified, that we may see your joy! But it is they who shall be put to shame. 6 [Hark!] An uproar from the city! A voice from the temple! The voice of the Lord, rendering recompense to His enemies!
(Isaiah 66:5-6 AMP)

Within every one of our hearts are things that should not be there; things that God will purge out. I wonder if many of the things we go through, the trials, the adversities are more than not God allowing the things deeply entrenched in our hearts to be exposed. While we wrestle with what is going on within us, we realize what we are experiencing emotionally shouldn’t be there.

Just a thought.

Isaiah 66 (NKJV) – True Worship and False
1
Thus says the LORD:
“ Heaven is My throne, and earth is My footstool. Where is the house that you will build Me? And where is the place of My rest?
2
For all those things My hand has made, and all those things exist,” says the LORD. “ But on this one will I look: On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at My word.
17
“ Those who sanctify themselves and purify themselves, to go to the gardens after an idol in the midst, eating swine’s flesh and the abomination and the mouse, shall be consumed together,” says the LORD.
18
“For I know their works and their thoughts. It shall be that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come and see My glory.
19
I will set a sign among them; and those among them who escape I will send to the nations: to Tarshish and Pul [or Put] and Lud, who draw the bow, and Tubal and Javan, to the coastlands afar off who have not heard My fame nor seen My glory. And they shall declare My glory among the Gentiles

NOTE:
Comment from “The Geneva Bible”:
verse 1:
“My majesty is so great, that it fills both heaven and earth, and therefore cannot be included in a temple like an idol, condemning by this their main confidence which trusted in the temple and sacrifices.”

verse 2:
“To him that is humble and pure in heart, who receives My doctrine with reverence and fear.”

verse 19:
“set a sign among them”:
“I will make these that I chose, that they perish not with the rest of the infidels: by which He alludes to the marking of the posts of His people, whom He preserved. See Exodus 12:7”.

Exodus 12
7
And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses where they eat it.
~~~

Geneva Bible:
Those who escape = those who escape God’s righteous judgment, God will send to the nations.

The Biblical list of nations with modern names are as follows:

Tarshish = Cecelia
Pul = Africa
Lud = Asia Minor
draw the bow = Parthians
Tubal = Italy
Javan = Greece
they = apostles, disciples and others whom God first chose of the Jews to preach to the Gentiles
~~~

The Holy Spirit spoke the same message with simplicity and clarity in Matthew 3 (NKJV):
7
But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
8
Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance,
9
and do not think to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones.
~~~

Who we are inside will always—sooner or later—spill out and manifest itself outwardly by our actions where others can see.

Thus, it is far better that we seek God to gain and to maintain purity and love for God.

This can only be gained and maintained by daily repentance and total dependence on the Lord, again only by reliance on Grace.

The “sin nature” in our humanity always wants to reject God and is always prone to the temptations of the enemy.

Romans 8 (Amplified)
5
For those who are according to the flesh and are controlled by its unholy desires set their minds on and pursue those things which gratify the flesh,
6
Now the mind of the flesh [which is sense and reason without the Holy Spirit] is death [death that comprises all the miseries arising from sin, both here and hereafter]. But the mind of the [Holy] Spirit is life and [soul] peace [both now and forever].
7
[That is] because the mind of the flesh [with its carnal thoughts and purposes] is hostile to God, for it does not submit itself to God's Law; indeed it cannot.
8
So then those who are living the life of the flesh [catering to the appetites and impulses of their carnal nature] cannot please or satisfy God, or be acceptable to Him.
~~~

In this respect, I am reminded of what Andrew Murray said in “With Christ In The School of Prayer”.

He reminds us that there must be an “inner fitness” and an “inner likeness” created by Grace so we can properly bear the image of God, by Whom we were created.
~~~

Philippians 3 (NKJV)
7
But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ.

NOTE:
May this truly be my experience. I cannot honestly say it always has been.

Knowing Christ and His matchless Glory and Grace is worth any price it may cost—no pleasure, goal or sin of any kind can compare to the Love and Grace in Jesus!

Philippians 3 (NKJV)
12
Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold
of me.
16
Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind.

NOTE:
It is a daily pressing into Grace—not that Grace resists us, but that our selfish human nature resists God!

And, God uses the process to build in us His character and strong faith.

To the degree that we have already attained, walk in that—and let us be patient with ourselves!

GOD DELIGHTS IN THE FACT WE ARE seeking to be like Him in all we do!

Psalm 74 (NKJV)
12
For God is my King from of old, working salvation in the midst of the earth.

NOTE:
May we catch God’s heart for the world and find our place there.

Our life and the borders of our expectation will grow and be fruitful as we walk in surrender to, and in partnership with, the Grace of Jesus for the world.

Proverbs 24 (NKJV)
16
For a righteous man may fall seven times and rise again, but the wicked shall fall by calamity.

NOTE:
The righteous man is not righteous in character immediately! THANK GOD that we are immediately “declared righteous”, or justified, in God’s eyes when we sincerely repent and trust in Jesus.

Romans 5 (NKJV)
1
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace [or. . . let us have peace] with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
2
through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
~~~

I like the note: “we have peace with God. . . or let us have peace with God”.

Righteousness is not gained and maintained in a day. GOD’S CHARACTER IN US is persistent and will not give up. We can take comfort in this.

Vance


Is 66:16
"For with fire and with his sword
the LORD will execute judgment upon all men,
and many will be those slain by the LORD."

Some people get upset with Christians when they talk about judgment in the end times or hell. But all the Christian is saying is - in the end there will be wrath and judgment on those who reject the Lord. Don't shoot the messenger.

Isaiah speaks about things that have not happened yet and for the Bible to be inerrant - they WILL come to pass.

Rejection of God had a penalty of death in the OT, Jesus said in Gospels that the non-believer will suffer eternal separation from God (death), and in the future when Christ comes back - those that oppose and reject Him have the same sentence - death and eternal separation from God.
======================================================
Is 16:18
"And I, because of their actions and their imaginations, am about to come and gather all nations and tongues, and they will come and see my glory."

Just another verse that supports the premise that this whole thing Creation, Salvation, and Apocalypse is about God's Glory.


Philippians 3:4-21

This is who Paul was before salvation:

"If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless."

Paul had more reasons than anybody else to think that you could earn your way to heaven by following the Law, yet this is Paul now:

"What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things."

Paul gave up all the trappings of being a big shot in Jerusalem, alll the power, all the fame. He gave them up (lost all things) for Christ. Why did Paul switch teams - this is one of the most startling conversions in the history of Christianity. One should take seriously what Paul, an apostle - appointed by the will of God - says in his writings.

Pressing on Toward the Goal

We have read the last several books of the Bible - and the message has been to depend on God for our Christian walk - alone we can nothing in coforming ourselves to the image of Christ.

Yes Paul is pressing on - but it is in the same mode he has been proclaiming the last few weeks - yielding to God in humilty and weakness, accessing the Holy Spirit who without we could not run the race. Being powerful in Christ, but admitting he himself is nothing.

It is about God - not about us. We cannot run the race and press on unless God is providing the strength to us to walk in the Spirit of love. Remember to even enter the race - one must be a believer.

Isaiah has been a tremendous blessing! I read it before, but got sooo much more out of it this time! We took communion tonight and as the pastor read from Mark, I had Is. 53 going through my mind...it just brought such a deeper meaning, i was in tears! I was so humbled, so grateful!

Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.”

My father is a spiritual storyteller and is always spreading the word through magnificent stories.

Here is one that he tells often:
The Flawed Stone

In a long forgotten kingdom, many, many years ago, there lived a very wise king who was loved by all in his kingdom. But, alas, the king had one fault, he was at times selfish. In his bedchamber, under his bed, he kept a chest and in that chest there was a magnificent stone. Every night he would take the stone out and he would look at it as he turned it around, it caught the light in its many different sides. It was perfect. One night the king was distracted for the briefest of moments and the stone fell to the ground. When the king picked up the stone, he saw a crack that ran from one end to the other. The stone was flawed. The king called for all the jewelers and gem setters within the kingdom to repair the stone, but, alas, they could do nothing. The king called for the stone and gem cutters and after looking at it they said the only way the stone could be saved was to cleave it in two. The king would not hear of it. The King had a pedestal erected in his throne room, and upon the stand he set the stone with a sign above it that said:


LET IT BE KNOWN TO ALL WITHIN AND WITHOUT MY KINGDOM THAT JUST AS THIS STONE IS FLAWED, SO IS THE KING. LET NO ONE BE SELFISH.

The stone sat upon the stand in the throne room for seven years. In the seventh year there came a rabbi, an old and ancient rabbi, who looked upon the stone and said: “I can fix the stone. I can make it more beautiful than it was before it was flawed.”

The guards thought the sage was old and without skill nor reason, but the king invited the ancient rabbi to look at the stone. The rabbi took the stone and carefully looked at it and said he needed but three days to work upon the stone. Then the rabbi covered stone with a black cloth and took it into a chamber which was provided for him. He closed and bolted the chamber door. The ancient rabbi lifted his hands towards the heavens and he began, “Ribbono she! Olam, Master the universe, give me the strength and the skill to complete the task before me.”

For a day and a half the rabbi prayed, and for day half scratching, scraping, and sounds of broken glass was heard from that chamber. When the third day came everyone gathered in the throne room.

Every eye watched as the black cloth was slowly removed from the stone and there were oo’s and ah’s for the stone was indeed more beautiful than it was before it was flawed. For you see from the crack the old rabbi had etched leaves and out of the top of the stone the rabbi had carved a perfect thirteen petalled rose.

But this is not the end of the tale. For you see that that stone sits in the Crown of Glory. When one looks at a gem stone, one does not look at each facet as an individual, but at the whole stone. If one facet is flawed then the whole stone is flawed. Each person of faith is a facet in the stone and that sits in the Crown of Glory, and the day is fast approaching when every person shall join hands. On that day they will be so strong that no force shall be able to separate them.

Let us all pray for that speedy day to arrive.


Read more of his stories at www.projectshalom2.org/WordPress

Shana, Thanks for sharing that story. Mike, I have many times been reading the bible and absolutely burst into tears (and trembling) at the words spoken to me. Love in Christ, Karen

I'm trying to find the definitions you posted before on the word GROWTH..

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